I grew up listening to all types of metal, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Pantera, Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, etc. But NEVER have I heard metal quite like the metal that is found in Pine Grove based Ultraviolent’s debut album, ‘Eviction’. Composed of Brett Anspach, lead guitar and vocals, Danny Koury, guitar, Avery LeVan, bass and co-vocals, and Brandon Babcock, drums, the band states that their genre is Rock/Metal, but more “Nu-Metal” vibes can be found in this album.
The album begins with the haunting introduction, “Inception” which is a minute long prelude to the chaos thats soon to come, a sort-of, ‘calm before the storm’. “Inception” jumps right into the hard hitter, “Insult to Injury” which was the first single released from the album, a music video accompanying the track was also released. “Insult to Injury” starts off with a simple, but chilling guitar intro, before the drums hit. The speed slowly picks up before the first vocal is heard. Anspach’s mix of both low-speaking, and screaming in this song are commendable, but the drawback is that some phrases are inaudible due to the speed of the vocals.
The third track on the album is titled “Steel Rain” which begins slow, as do the others, before the drums kick in, slowly building up speed until reaching the :40 second mark, when the bone-crushing speed picks up. Anspach’s screams, mixed with LeVan’s clean vocals, make the perfect explosion for this track. This track is perfect for those that are into metalcore, as it mixes clean and unclean vocals, and has a fantastic breakdown. All-in-all, as a metalcore fan, this is a masterpiece, but definitely not my number one. This is because, again, some of the screams are drowned out by the backing instruments, while the clean vocals match in perfectly, creating somewhat of a slight imbalance.
The fourth track, “Float” is definitely my personal favorite. This one carries a nu-metal vibe, with Anspach again mixing screams, with fast speech delivery. LeVan’s vocals, mixed with Anspach’s fast delivery, and screams, makes “Float” a nu-metal lover’s dream come true, and a must listen for sure.
The fifth track, conveniently titled, “Five” (ba dum tss), was previously featured on the band’s 2016 EP, also, conveniently titled “Five”, which consisted of, you guessed it, “Five” tracks. Five begins with distant sirens, and then hits with a powerful guitar solo, for the first minute and twenty seconds, (This is seen in a variety of other Metallica songs, and a lot of other metal tracks from various artists). Once the drum hits, this time we are met with Anspach’s clean, but brutal vocals, again presenting a fast delivery, while transitioning into LeVan’s vocals. This one was tough for me, as I enjoyed both the original and the re-recording. But on both songs, the only drawback is how the song goes from Anspach’s speed vocals, to LeVan’s more slowed down vocals, almost as if jumping from hard to soft in a matter of seconds. If this is what the band was going for, they definitely accomplished it. As the vocals start to fade out, we are met with a three and a half minute breakdown. The breakdown is a great instrumental track, but not exactly neccessary. Metallica is one band who commonly has long songs, with long solos, and/or breakdowns, along with Led Zeppelin, and in some cases, Periphery. However, in an album where the tracks are on the shorter side, and fast paced, the long breakdown seems to be almost out of place. Overall, I would recommend for those who are fans of Metallica, but not for those who expect a fast, short metal song.
The sixth track is “Hay in the Needlestack”, a nod at a Spongebob Squarepants episode that features Pantera. Hay in the Needlestack comes in from a distance, but crushes it as soon as the vocals hit. The track, featuring Merritt Frownfelter, features all screams, and is not for someone who doesn’t typically listen to that type of music. It features catchy words, and a steady, catchy beat, but the harsh vocals are definitely bordering on partial “Deathcore” which is fine, for those who enjoy deathcore, but not for those who are unfamiliar with, or do not like that genre.
The seventh track, or “(Hidden Track)” starts off with a 90s hardcore/punk rock vibe, before jumping into a 90s Slipknot vibe. The insanely fast drums, mixed with the guitar, and no vocals on the track make it the perfect shift/transition into the next track. The end features slight elevator type music, which is sort of a shock from the hard hitting, all-instrumental interlude, ironically featuring a light voice informing the listener that it has, indeed, been an interlude, for those who wouldn’t have guessed. Overall, a great transition into the next track, “Agenda”
The eighth track, “Agenda” is also a re-record from the “Five” EP. This verision of Agenda is definitely very well done, and definitely better than the original. This track features more of Anspach’s clean vocals. His raspy, almost rough sounding voice, mixed in with slight screams through this song, makes this one a great re-record, the breakdown is better constructed from the original. Overall, definitely another great track, and definitely an improvement from the original.
The ninth track, “Cataclysm” featuring Nolan Mateer, vocalist of The Art of Deception, is unique in it’s own way. A major drawback is that “Agenda” seems to lack a proper fade, so it is hard to tell where “Agenda” ends and “Cataclysm” begins, creating a sort-of, “run-on”. The vocals in this one are fast and hard hitting, again featuring some nu-metal qualities, mixed with an early Slipknot vibe as the song continues. Mateer and Anspach’s vocals are a perfect mix of bone crushing, hard hitting screams. Overall, a vocal calamity, but in a unique, original way of its own.
The tenth track, “Roots”, solely features the vocals of LeVan. The track again starts off with a 90s hardcore vibe, and begins with screams, and then goes into clean vocals. Near the two minute mark, it again shifts into a nu-metal vibe. The nu metal vibe I continue to mention is the use of fast, or slow, almost rap-like vocals, that are found immensely throughout this album. I enjoy this track because of the way LeVan’s voice glues the track together in a more harmonious way from the others, definitely making it a standout. The ending features another 3 minute long guitar solo, building again on the Metallica vibes, which, in this case, is a nice mix from the chaotic beginning, to the solo.
The eleventh track, “Eviction(Doomsday)” cuts right to the chase as the drum and guitar hit in synch with each other. Anspach’s clean vocals are prominent in this one, which is mixed evenly with his screams. His voice, has a very unique sound to it, making this track unique as well. The prominence and power of his voice is not heard as strongly as it is in this track, it adds to the overall story that is being told throughout the entire track. You can feel the emotion, almost being able to take it on for yourself. The screams also match this emotion, making the song a very powerful one overall.
The twelfth track, “Revelation” is another instrumental track, and is a good closing to the album, because it sort of sneaks up on you, and gives you a breath of fresh air towards the chaos you just experienced. A light guitar is heard, followed by a light drumbeat, and then it continues with the familiar sound heard throughout the entire album, but almost serving as a type of “credits reel” closing out the album.
Overall, this album was a rollercoaster from the beginning, if you listen to a lot of the lyrics, it is both a lyrical and instrumental whirlwind. The sheer chaos and mix of emotions throughout is perfectly balanced, thus almost putting the listener right into the story that the album is trying to tell. So buckle up, put on your helmet, and get ready for the whirlwind that’s coming at you when you listen to Ultraviolent’s “Eviction”. This is definitely an album that has the potential to be something great, and something I would definitely recommend, and of course, blast in the car(as if there’s any other way to listen to music). So what’re you waiting for? Pick up a physical copy (yes, they still make those) of Eviction, or stream it anywhere you can find music today, I promise, it’ll leave you both shellshocked and blown away, and you won’t regret listening to it.
BONUS Commentary to follow!